2024 United States Open Championship Preview

2024 United States Open Championship Preview

A decade ago, when the game’s elite last descended upon the hallowed sandy grounds, and majestic pines of North Carolina, Martin Kaymer obliterated the field without much opposition. That was his last victory after an insane run similar to Paddy and others before him, but in 2024 it’s a brave new world with Mr. Scheffler serving as the current capo di tutti capi. So far this year, we’ve seen no noticeable improvement in the PGA v. LIV saga, but nevertheless there’s been no shortage of fireworks leading into a tantalizing summer of golf. From Wyndham’s excruciating lip-out at Sawgrass, to Scottie’s second green jacket, and ensuring bogus arrest somewhat overshadowing the breakthrough PGA win for Xander in Louisville, the stage is set for a magical week at Pinehurst.

In this preview I’m going to save my breath on the alpha dogs who are mostly all in good form incoming and can certainly win, and focus on a few other dark hawses down the board who could lurk into contention come Sunday evening…

Let’s start with a guy who is ready to take the next step with a major victory, no not Xander’s bff Patrick Cantlay (although I wouldn’t be shocked), but MIGHTY MAX HOMA. He’s won at many of the other historic venues from Riv to Torrey, and despite a ho-hum PGA, his valiant Top 5 at Augusta, and previous Top 10 at last year’s Open, his time is surely now.

This may also be true for the winner of the Open at St. Andrews in 2022, as well as Sawgrass earlier that year, where a ton of crossover seems to exist with Pinehurst, and that man is the Aussie King himself, Cam Smith. I see a lot of Royal Melbourne watching the course flyover, and although the typical US Open setup (long with thick rough) is not ideal for his skillset, much like Augusta, the thick rough seems lacking this year, there’s sandy waste areas galore, and with minimal rain in the lead up, this should be a firm n’ fast delight. I couldn’t draw up a better scenario for Cam to thrive this week, and absolutely is live to win if he can be patient, plod his way around, be magical around and on the greens as he usually is, then good things will come to fruition.

Speaking of patience, how about a guy who’s been waiting for his major for 15 or so odd years now, co-runner up in 2014, Rickie Fowler? Tricky Dick’s back under the wing of Uncle Butchie, and despite mixed results over the past few months, could some good karma finally be coming his way after years and years of close calls? It looked like it was coming at LACC in last year’s US Open with an opening round record tying 62, until ultimately faltering in the final round to give Clark his breakthrough victory as a shock to many. There wouldn’t be a better story if he somehow could pull it off…besides Phil of course. But that’s neither here nor there, and as Rickie careens towards oblivion at Memorial Friday morning, perhaps a make the cut bet is preferred.

Now onto a “local” guy for us here in New York, the pride of St. John’s and Wheatley Hills, a guy who is as precise as any off the tee, and already has a major under his belt, Keegan Bradley. With a couple wins, and several other T10s to his name over the past 18 months, he’s striking the ball as well as he has in years, and as gut-wrenching as it is to watch him on the greens, if he can just get a few putts to fall this week, he should give himself a good shot at it…

Next up is a guy who has three, yes, three Top 10s in the last four renditions of this major, a guy who has been between 150 to 100-1 in the outright markets despite constantly being in the mix at big boy courses like LACC, Bay Hill, and countless others, he is none other than Cousin Harris English. Right there once again last year in La La Land, as he was at Torrey Pines and Winged Foot before that, this guy just gets up for majors, pure and simple. He’s never going to blow you away with any part of the game, but when he’s clicking, my heavens it is pretty to watch. Peppering fairways like Emeril in ‘97, scrambling like a Tobacco Road swashbuckler, and draining putts like a bottle of Zep down a clogged drain, I expect this Georgia Dawg to be hungry for victory next week.

The last of the mid-tier guys who could win that I’ll be highlighting for now is another with even closer local ties, a Demon Deacon and major lurker of the highest order, it’s Slick Willy Z. 2024 was primed to be a banner year after recovering for most of 2023 with a devastating back injury, but his play of late would indicate he’s hit a roadblock. However, his major record is still outstanding, is more than comfortable in this part of the country, and has the game to win here, pure and simple, especially when it just takes four rounds near level par to contend.

In terms of longshots, JT The Postman and of course, Cousin Denny McCarthy are two of the best putters to ever walk this good green Earth, and on some prime, slick champion bermuda, I could see their fairway finding and short game prowess propel each to a T10 for sure.

I would be remiss to leave out another Georgia dawg after Cousin Harris, that being Sepp “The Austrian Bulldawg” Straka coming in hawt as ever could certainly T10 if not better…

Last guy: Handsome Vic Perez-is balling out again at Memorial early on after lurking north of the border. Let’s not forget the Frenchman chose to move next to St. Andrews to improve his links acumen, so although not a traditional coastal links course, Ole Donnie Ross certainly has added many linksy elements to this Carolina gem. And so maybe, just maybe, he can summon some Roy McAvoy magic at triple digit odds to claim victory (or make a crooked number on the final hole), ya never know…

We’ll see how things pan out in Dublin, Ohio, but for now here’s where my lunatic brain is at, with updates to come throughout the days leading up til tee off next Thursday. Make sure to stay tuned to Twitter for updates, and the “Who’s Your Caddy?” Podcast Tuesday for all the latest on our country’s top Open Championship. So buckle up and get ready for the most difficult test in golf, and always remember as Great Uncle Harvey taught us, Take Dead Aim, and of course, BOL!



Back to blog